Coming up

– Sunday March 31, following the service – Choir practice

– Tuesday April 2, 7:00 p.m. – Bible study, at Gwen’s home

– Wednesday April 3, 1:30 p.m. Women’s Missionary Society (WMS) group

– Thursday April 4, 1:30 p.m. – Prayer Time

– Sunday April 7 – Communion Sunday

– Thursday, April 18, 6:00 p.m. – Pot-luck supper and Maundy Thursday Communion service

– Friday, April 19, 10:30 a.m. – Good Friday service

See the rest of the announcements for this week here

This week

This Week in First Church:

– Sunday, 10:10 a.m. – Session meeting

– Sunday, following the service – Choir practice

– Tuesday, 7:00 p.m. – Bible study, at Gwen’s home

– Wednesday, 1:00 p.m. – Worship Committee meeting

– Thursday, 7:00 p.m. – Session meeting

– Saturday, 9:00 a.m. – Men’s Breakfast

Coming Up:

– Sunday, 7 April – Communion Sunday

Re-admission of Elders – During our service Sunday, we will formally re-admit to the Session our recently re-elected elders — Marg Clark, Margaret Dunn, and Bruce Sneesby.  In The Presbyterian Church in Canada, ordination to the eldership is for life; but, if the Session has “term service”, elders serve on the Session for just six years at a time, at the end of which they are eligible to be re-elected.  We thank Marg, Margaret, and Bruce for their service on the Session in the past, as well as for their willingness to continue serving for an additional six-year term

Coming up

This Week in First Church:

– Sunday – Deadline for submissions for March Newsletter

  • Sunday, following the service – Choir practice

– Tuesday, 7:00 p.m. – Bible study, at Gwen’s home

– Wednesday, 5:00 p.m. – Meal-in-a-Bowl Supper

Coming Up:

– Sunday, 24 March – Re-admission of Elders

– Sunday, 7 April – Communion SundayI

Newsletter – Submissions for the March issue of the Newsletter should be given or sent to Lisa Sneesby by Sunday March 17. We aim to have the Newsletter ready in time for next Sunday (the 24th) — two weeks prior to our next Communion Sunday on the 7th of April.

Election of Elders – During our service next Sunday (the 24th) we will formally re-admit our recently re-elected elders to the Session — Marg Clark, Margaret Dunn, and Bruce Sneesby.  The Session is asked to meet briefly in the classroom downstairs at 10:10 (twenty minutes before service time) that day.

Announcement and Edict

In our recent Election of Elders, three people each received a large number of votes, and have agreed to serve on the Session for another six years.  They are Marg Clark, Margaret Dunn, and Bruce Sneesby.  So, we are planning to officially re-admit them to the Session during the service two weeks from today — that is on Sunday, the 24th of March.

In connection with this, then, there is an official edict from the Session that was read to the congregation March 10.  It is as follows:

Whereas Marg Clark, Margaret Dunn, and Bruce Sneesby, members and elders of this congregation, have been duly re-elected to the Session by this congregation, and have been approved by the Session, notice is hereby given that the Session will proceed to re-admit them to that office  on Sunday, the 24th day of March, in the year 2019, at 10:30 a.m., unless some valid objection has been given to the moderator of the Session within ten days from this date.

Portage la Prairie, Man., 10 March 2019

Coming up

This Week in First Church:

– Sunday, following the service – Choir practice

– Tuesday, 7:00 p.m. – Bible study, at the church

– Wednesday, 6:30 p.m. – Finance & Maintenance Committee meeting

– Saturday March 16, 9:00 a.m. – Men’s Breakfast

Coming Up:

– Sunday, 17 March – Deadline for submissions for March Newsletter

– Sunday, 7 April – Communion Sunday

The Christian Year – We are now in the Season of Lent, the fourth of the six seasons of the Christian Year.  Lent is a season of preparation for Easter, and in that respect, is similar to Advent, the season of preparation for Christmas.  Lent is a time for us to give increased attention to our struggle against our sinful impulses and the sinful pressures of the world around us, and to work for renewal in our relationship with God.  Historically, Lent was a time when the disciplines of fasting, giving to the poor, and prayer were emphasized (see Matthew 6.1-18).  In some denominations, the practice of fasting has evolved into the practice of “giving something up for Lent”.

     The season of Lent originated in the early centuries of the church as a period in which new converts (called “catechumens”, mostly adults) were given their final instruction in the Christian faith, in preparation for their baptism at Easter.  By the Middle Ages, Lent had evolved into a solemn season of penitence and fasting, in imitation of Jesus’ 40 days of fasting and being tempted in the wilderness (Luke 4.1-13 and parallels).  The length of Lent was therefore set at 40 days (not including Sundays, however, since Sunday, the weekly celebration of Jesus’ resurrection, could not be a day of fasting).  So Lent always begins on a Wednesday, 6½ weeks before Easter: Ash Wednesday.  Since the date of Easter changes from year to year, the date of Ash Wednesday also changes.

     The final week of Lent is called Holy Week, and during that week we commemorate the events of Jesus’ “Passion” — his suffering and death in Jerusalem.

     The symbolic color for Lent is purple, signifying preparation and penitence.  The color for Holy Week is red, symbolizing Jesus’ blood, shed on the cross as a sacrifice for human sin.

Newsletter – Submissions for the March issue of the Newsletter should be given or sent to Lisa Sneesby by next Sunday, the 17th (bsneesby@mymts.net).  We aim to have the Newsletter ready in time for the 24th — two weeks prior to our next Communion Sunday on the 7th of April.

Upcoming at First Church

This Week in First Church:

– Sunday, following the service – Choir practice

– Tuesday, 7:00 p.m. – Bible study, at Gwen’s home

– Wednesday, 1:30 p.m. – Women’s Missionary Society (W.M.S.) will meet

– Thursday, 1:30 p.m. – Prayer Time

Coming Up:

– Sunday, 10 March – Daylight Savings Time begins

– Sunday, 17 March – Deadline for submissions for March NewsletterI

The Christian Year – Sunday is Transfiguration Sunday, the final Sunday of the Season after Epiphany.  On this day, we commemorate Jesus’ transfiguration, which is recorded in Luke 9.28-36, as well as in parallel passages in Matthew and Mark.  Like his baptism, Jesus’ transfiguration was an “epiphany” — an event in which his true identity as the Son of God was “manifested” or revealed.  The symbolic color for Transfiguration Sunday is white, symbolizing joy and celebration; whereas the color for the rest of the Season after Epiphany is green, the color for ordinary time.

     This Wednesday is Ash Wednesday, the first day of the Season of Lent, a season of preparation for the festival of Easter.  The symbolic color for Lent is purple, symbolizing preparation and repentance.